ALL POSTS TAGGED "christmas"

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It’s that time of year again. Families are welcoming one of Santa’s very own elves, known collectively as The Elf on the Shelf, into their home to help keep an eye on who is being naughty and nice. These elves have special Christmas magic that helps them keep an eye on the house by day and then fly back to the North Pole to report to Santa every night. The elves are adopted into each family and given a unique name – from Fufu and Scout to Bones, Juliet, Sam and Mr. Peepers.

Elf on the Shelf Ideas

While these elves are cute as can be, they also have a mischievous side. They have been known to turn milk green, draw mustaches on pictures, and even swing from the ceiling fan. But, come Christmas Eve, the elves head back to the North Pole, their job for the year done.

Elf on the Shelf Ideas - Elf in the Bath Elf on the Shelf Ideas - Elf on a Fan

HGTV decided to join in on the fun and adopt our own Elf on the Shelf. Follow HGTV on Instagram @HGTV to see the adventures that our elf gets into during the first 12 Days of Christmas. Keep track of the elf and on the final day, Wednesday December 12, we’ll ask a question about our elf here on the blog (ex: Where was the elf on Day 6?). Answer the question on the blog and one random winner will win the HGTV Elf and a $100 American Express Gift Card.

HGTV Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf watching over your house? Share their adventures with us on Instagram using #HGTVelf

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Etiquette experts agree that the week after Thanksgiving or the first week of December are the best times for mailing Christmas cards — giving friends and family plenty of time to display and enjoy your thoughtful holiday greetings.

While I can’t say that I’m always that organized, I certainly do enjoy receiving cards — especially when they’re handmade.

I mean, who wouldn’t love opening this oh-so-trendy card with a three-dimensional effect? Just print out our attached templates to make assembling this card a snap3-D Christmas Trees Handmade Card

What would the holidays be without a little snow? Send warm-climate friends and family an interactive holiday shaker card with a magical falling-snow effect: Handmade Shaker Holiday Card


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Making plans to put up your Christmas tree? Try something new this year! Brian Patrick Flynn suggests a color combination of violet, brown, bronze and white as a great way to add masculine appeal to your home. For proper balance, stick with brown and bronze as the dominant colors, with sprinkles of violet for accent, and set it all against a white tree.


Masculine Christmas Tree

 Are you mixing up your holiday decor this year? Let me know how bold you’re going!

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UPDATE: Congratulations to our giveaway winner: Isabelle S.!

It may seem a tad early to you, but behind-the-scenes at, we are busy working on handmade crafts for Christmas. Yes, Christmas. We’re like Santa’s helpers around here (everyone knows elves work year-round).

In prepping for our 2012 Christmas crafts, Brian Patrick Flynn created two wreaths that are going to be featured in our Handmade Holidays package this October. We have what we need for our purposes, so now YOU have the opportunity to win the original wreaths.

Christmas Wreaths

To enter for a chance to win both the paint chip wreath (left) and the rustic twine wreath (right), answer our question in the comments below: What holiday crafts will you attempt this year?

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 9:00 a.m. ET on August 22, 2012 and 5:00 p.m. ET on August 29, 2012. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $50. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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All over the country, kids are headed back to school — a reminder that fall and then the holidays are coming up fast. If you haven’t already, now’s a great time to start your Christmas crafting. To help you deck the halls with handmade goodies, I’ve gathered a few of my favorite Christmas crafts.

French for shadow or shade, ombré continues to top the must-try trends for both fashion and interior design. Which is good news because these Ombré Felt Trees are too cute to miss:

Ombre Felt Christmas Trees


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Merry Christmas, design lovers! Did Santa visit your house last night? I got some lovely gifts, but my favorite present (that I coincidentally both gave AND received!) is a mini Yee-Haw Industries 2012 calendar.
yeehaw industries calendar

These cute letterpress critters bring a smile to my face, and remind me of visiting my lovely coworkers at HGTV HQ in Knoxville (where Yee-Haw Industries is also based). The mini calendars are perfect for a desk or cubicle, but I also like the rustic charm of this large-format calendar. We’ll be ringing in 2012 before you know it, so I love being prepared to greet the new year stylishly.

How about you? What was your favorite Christmas present this year?

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Fess up: Do you leave the gifts untouched until Christmas morning, or do you peek inside your gift bags when no one’s looking? I’m not saying I’ve never peeled back wrapping paper or shaken a box, but I love the surprise of opening something totally unexpected. That’s why I love today’s handmade project: this playful gift box centerpiece.

Handmade mossy gift box centerpiece

To make this stack of gifts, alternate boxes covered in floral moss (available at craft stores) and brown Kraft paper, then tie it up with a bright red bow.  Don’t worry…even prying eyes won’t want to peel back this pretty wrapping.

Get even more handmade ideas from our 12 Days of Handmade series and our Handmade Holidays feature. Check back tomorrow for another great DIY project!

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ten lords a leaping

Top row, left to right: Portrait of Lord BuryAlfred Lord Tennyson Print 11×17 – Famous SeniorsVintage Lord Salisbury Turkish Cigarette Tin, Trafalgar Print. Middle row, left to right: Lord Horatio IgglesworthNEKOCHERRY Lord Byron Screenprint, MY LORD Greeting CardLord Kitchener Poster. Bottom row, left to right: Lord Voluntus de Gaulle – 8 X 10 Fine Art Print, Antique Bust of Lord ByronBounce House Mega Castle with Slide, Large Oval Springfree Trampoline.

Not gonna lie, this lyric was definitely the hardest, by far. I must watch a lot of period drama, because I thought it would be a breeze! It seemed like there were lords and ladies everywhere in The Tudors, or even Downton Abbey. Alas, much harder to find online in home decor. I tried to think outside of the box. Lord of the Rings? Too genre. Traci Lords? Too inappropriate, though I love Cry-Baby. I thought about featuring all “lords-a-leaping” goods, like this paper cut wall hanging or this clever art print, but there weren’t even enough of those to go around. And men labeled Earls, Counts and other assorted noble titles just would not do. In the end, I chose a sampling of lords, some silly and some somber, and included a bounce castle (I thought they’d feel at home there) and cool springless trampoline for leaping purposes. Enjoy, and let’s hope that 11 PIPERS PIPING is easier on us all.

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Living in Tennessee, there’s a pretty slim chance that I’ll have a white Christmas.  But I can take matters out of the weatherman’s (or woman’s) hands and make sure I’ll have some snowflakes on the table with today’s handmade project: a snowflake-embellished table runner.

Snowflake table runner how-to

Remember those folded cutout snowflakes you perfected in third grade? Now is the time to revive those masterful cutting skills, or if the memory is a bit fuzzy, use a paper snowflake template.  Cut several types of snowflakes out of white felt, then affix it to a burlap table runner.  It’ll look great on your table (or across the mantel) all winter long, no matter how much (or how little) snow piles up outside.

Get even more handmade ideas from our 12 Days of Handmade series and our Handmade Holidays feature. Check back tomorrow for another great DIY project!

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I mentioned last week that we have been decorating like insane little elves this holiday season. We just can’t help but be thrilled that this is our first Christmas in our newly-renovated home, and I suppose that means every corner is fair game for glitter, tinsel and pine cones. I know you thought we were exaggerating, so I’m here this week to present photographic evidence of our Christmas Decor Extravaganza.

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

We dare you to find a corner un-decked.

That’s right; even our entryway dons a festive feather tree and metallic twig creation. After all, Santa comes through the front door when there’s a fire in the hearth, right? (By the way, kids’ silver beads make for stunning holiday decor. Cheap and chic!)

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

A festive entryway.

We, of course, continued the boosting of the entryway with a handmade tinsel wreath and turtledove, nestled safely between our winter coats and hats (and yes, a smashing swan purse that I house our dog leashes in). I don’t know if the swan can withstand the Christmas temps, but we’re rooting for her.

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

Of course a glittered bird is in order!

In our entryway shelving unit, a DIY glittered bird guards all Scrooges from entering. Her name is Francis Bea, and she’s quite the vibrant elder. Careful, friends.

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

Meet Edgar.

Of course, Francis Bea isn’t the only glittered forest creature that lies within. Gracefully resting in our living room is Edgar, our other DIY animal who is much less feisty than Francis Bea, but still makes a mean eggnog. We love him dearly for that highly valuable skill.

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

What? You don't have holiday coasters?

Speaking of the living room, we go to great lengths to ensure a festive TV-watching experience, even down to our tree-trunk coasters and metallic-wrapped pine.

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

Sweet dreams, mini trees!

Even our bedrooms have mini Christmas trees on each nightstand, perfect for late-night wishlists and sugarplum-dreaming.

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

A very plywood tree.

And yes, the office has been decked out in its own unique way. A traditional tree just won’t do, so this handy plywood number (from Modernica) is the perfect accent to our plywood shelving and wood ceiling. Also? White tinsel. Always, always white tinsel.

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

More DIY Christmas!

In the kitchen and dining area, Christmas is in full swing with plenty of lovely little accessories to see. Near our oven, metallic spray-painted rocks and a vase house glittery leaves, branches and twigs from the local craft store.

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

Finally --- a solution for extra baubles.

And those pearl strands and spare ornaments that didn’t quite make it to the tree this year? A glass bowl rounds them up nicely. After all, it’s Christmas — no ornament should have their feelings hurt.

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

Wreaths everywhere!

In the dining room, another tinsel wreath hangs with glee, introducing the most lovely Christmas decoration of all:

Christmas Decorating- Erin Loechner

Behold --- the tree!

Ah, yes — the tree! You all had a sneak peek last week, but isn’t it just glorious? It’s our perfect little Scandinavian cabin tree, and we can’t wait to box it up year after year until we grow tired of the color white.

Which, of course, will never happen. Ever.

Happy holidays, friends! And do share your own decor in the comments below — I can’t wait to see!

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Still pondering what to do about holiday cards? Me too! Here’s my plan: Tackle them this weekend with a pair of scissors in one hand and a glass of eggnog in the other. Instead of the typical store-bought greeting, I’m thinking I’ll go all-out with easy homemade ones. (Psst…Did you see Kim’s amazing modern tree and ornament cutouts?) For the third installment of 12 Days of Handmade, I give you this adorable bird-and-branch greeting.

Robin Handmade Holiday Card
For the bird, find a printable design online or reuse Christmas cards from  years past. Then, create the textured branches with pine cone scales, and deck it out with glittery glue. Impressive and easy. Done and done.  Get the full how-to here >>

More Handmade Cards:

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Only 12 more days ’till Christmas! We’re counting down with an easy handmade project every day until Christmas Eve. (Yes, you still have time to make them all.) First up: This old-fashioned moss-and-cranberry wreath.

Moss-and-Cranberry Wreath

This wreath reminds me of Christmas Eve as a kid. While the adults at our family party imbibed copious amounts of eggnog, I was content to string garland after garland of cranberries and popcorn to drape on the tree. The popcorn I didn’t eat, that is.

10 Festive Christmas Wreaths

The kids will love to help string the berries for this simple wreath that celebrates the natural hues of the season. Best of all: it can double as a centerpiece on your holiday table. Get the full how-to here >>

Moss and Cranberry Wreath

Find many more handmade wreaths, stockings and more in our Holiday Decorating feature.

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So, The Twelve Days of Christmas actually start ON Christmas Day (or at least that’s what Wikipedia tells me), but I’m gonna try something a little different here and kinda do a countdown with the famous carol leading up to Christmas. And in keeping with my own interpretation of the chronology, I’m also going to get a bit less-than-literal with the gift recommendations. Starting with this whole “partridge in a pear tree” affair.

partridge pear tree

I think a pear tree sounds lovely (mmm, pear tarts!) and partridge a bit less so, but honestly, not many people have room for either these days. That’s why I think these cool retro brass partridge figurines and Jonathan Adler graphic pear pillow make a pleasant alternative. If my true love showed up with these, I wouldn’t regift them, is what I’m trying to say.


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I’ve got nothing against candy canes. They make great inexpensive holiday decor, and then when you’re finished with them, you can eat them, or possibly use one as a swizzle stick in a mug of hot cocoa. It’s just that they’re so…expected. Which is precisely why I like this “candy cane” deer antler.

candy cane deer antler

This piece takes the classic color combo and look of the candy cane and applies it to something out of the ordinary. Not to mention, there’s the subtle nod to Christmas and reindeer, too. It’s too bad there’s only one from the Etsy seller, MayaJadeCreations, because I think she could make a mint with these. (Wink!)

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The holidays are a time when you come home with lots of stuff — albeit, stuff you want to eat, play with or otherwise enjoy — but still, it adds up. Before the influx of fun, new gifts, why not clear the decks while you, ahem, deck the halls? These three stocking how-tos will help you turn things you likely have sitting around the house into vessels for bite-sized goodies and miniature gifts.

Stocking Pails
Painted Pail Stockings.:
I know, it’s not technically a stocking. But a) they’ll look just as pretty on your mantel and b) your family will love their Christmas morning chocolate stash just as much.  Repurpose any size pail and paint it your favorite bright hue — I’m thinking our color of the month would be a beautiful choice. Get the full how-to >>

15 Ways to Dress Up Your Mantel

Handmade Sweater Stockings

No-Knit Sweater Stockings: Turn old sweaters into adorably fuzzy stockings — and hang them from handmade chalkboard hangers. (Bonus points if you revamp a tacky Christmas sweater.)  Get the full how-to here >>

Leather Stockings
Leather Stockings: Give your mantel a high-fashion makeover by turning that 90s leather jacket into a chic stocking. Get the full how-to >>

More Handmade Holiday Projects

What does your stocking look like? Tell us in the comments below.

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We’re so excited to announce that we’ve partnered up for the holidays again this year with our friends at Etsy. (Remember last year’s amazing Christmas crafts?) This year, we’re featuring Etsy on an upcoming episode of Design on a Dime, airing Saturday, Dec. 10 at 8p/7c.

We’re all big fans of their Treasury. The Treasury allows you to create a collection of your favorite Etsy items and share it with your friends.

Making one is super-simple: learn how here. You can even browse our gorgeous Christmas decorating tips for inspiration.

Create your own HGTV-inspired Treasury with Etsy products, and we just might feature your creation on our blog!

HGTV <i>Color Splash</i> Treasury

How cool is this Color Splash collection?

Make sure to tag yours with “HGTV Treasury Challenge 2011″ and leave a link to your inspiration in the description.

Mad About Marigold Etsy Treasury

Liz Gray's "Mad About Marigold" Treasury

Want to explore the HGTV Treasury Challenge 2011 collections? It’s a great way to see what other people have done and get excited about creating your own.

We’ll be browsing all the collections tagged with “HGTV Treasury Challenge 2011″ between now and when the show airs, and we’ll pick a couple of our favorites to post here on the blog next week!

As promised, here are some of our collections. We can’t wait to see yours!

Briana Mowrey, Decorating Editor and Daily Delight writer – Daily Delights

Liz Gray, Decorating Editor – HGTV’s November Color of the Month, marigold (PS Have you seen which color we picked for December?)

Leanne Potts, VP, Editorial – 2012 Dream Home location, Park City, Utah. BTW, the HGTV Dream Home tour just launched. Feel free to drool; we are!

Lili Zarghami, Senior Editor (and mom of twins) – Twin-inspired treasury

Tune in on Dec. 10 for Design on a Dime, Etsy style.

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